December 29, 2009

1. Brittany Mallory had 16 points (and five steals), Ashley Barlow scored 15 and #3 Notre Dame overcame a slow start to beat Central Florida 85-52 this afternoon. Barlow’s layup as time expired in the first half highlighted a 17-0 run by the Fighting Irish that turned a tight game into a blowout, smothering the Knights with a full-court press that forced 36 turnovers. Notre Dame (11-0) extended the second-best start in the program’s 33-year history. Marshay White had 12 points, and D’Nay Daniels added 10 points for the Knights (3-6), who were going for one of the biggest wins in school history. Instead, they lost for the third time this season to a ranked opponent. For the Irish, Skylar Diggins had 12 points, Lindsay Schrader 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds and Melissa Lechlitner six assists. Notre Dame held a 50-16 advantage in points in the paint.

2. Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy, center Eric Olsen and right tackle Sam Young have all accepted invitations to the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl, officials announced yesterday. The game is scheduled for Jan. 30 at 3:00 p.m. CST in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be televised live by the NFL Network.

3. SI.com ran a photo feature that rated the “2000s: Top 10 College Football Games” and the 2005 Notre Dame-USC game rated fifth on the list, with this description: “USC’s 23-game winning streak seemed over as the Trojans, trailing by three thanks to the heroics of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, faced fourth-and-nine from their own 26 late in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. But USC quarterback Matt Leinart refused to let the streak end. Leinart hit Dwayne Jarrett for a 61-yard gain, and moments later, with time running out and no timeouts remaining, USC ran a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line. The Fighting Irish stuffed Leinart at the line, but USC tailback Reggie Bush pushed Leinart over the goal line to seal a 34-31 win and keep the streak alive.” The Irish also made an appearance in the SI.com “2000s: Top 10 College Football Upsets” – with Notre Dame’s ’07 triple-overtime loss to Navy ranking seventh.

4. Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson has announced the addition of junior defenseman Joe Lavin (Shrewsbury, Mass.) to the Irish hockey roster for the second half of the season. The 6-3, 200-pound left-handed shooting defenseman will be available for action beginning Saturday at the Shillelagh Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Lavin joins the Irish after starting his collegiate career at Providence College in 2007-08. He played a season and a half with the Friars, playing in 36 games as a freshman (’07-’08) with no goals and eight assists for eight points. A product of the Boston Junior Bruins, he left Providence after the first semester of the 2008-09 campaign after playing in 12 games and recording one assist. A fifth-round draft pick, 126th overall of the Chicago Black Hawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Lavin moved on to play in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Omaha Lancers. During the second half of the 2008-09 campaign, he played in 33 games, scoring seven goals with 16 assists for 23 points while picking up 28 minutes in penalties. In three postseason games, Lavin recorded four assists for the Lancers. Omaha finished second in the USHL Western Division with a 32-21-7 record. A product of USA Hockey’s National Team Developmental Program, Lavin saw action in 24 games for Omaha this season, scoring five goals with 12 assists for 17 points. Four of his goals came on the power play and one was a game-winner. When he left the Lancers following play Dec. 12, they were 19-4-1 for the season and in first place in the USHL Western Division. His plus-16 rating was third on the team. The 20-year old Lavin was a teammate of current Notre Dame players Ian Cole, Brad Phillips and Teddy Ruth with the USA Under-18 Team in 2006-07, playing in 41 games with two goals and eight assists for 10 points. In 2005-06, with the Under-17 Team, Lavin played in 67 games with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points, including a team-high seven power-play goals. The newest member of the Notre Dame defense will wear No. 33 and practiced with the team yesterday for the first time.

5. Notre Dame stands in 17th place in the third set of fall sports standings released in the 2009-10 Learfield Sports Division I Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 186 points — 83 points from their national semifinal finish in women’s soccer, 50 from a second-round appearance in men’s soccer, 28 from their 23rd-place finish in women’s cross country and 25 from a first-round volleyball appearance. The final fall standings will be available Jan. 13. Stanford (345 points) leads the competition, paced by a women’s soccer runner-up finish. Virginia is second (thanks to its NCAA championship in men’s soccer and a national semifinal slot in women’s field hockey). Next are North Carolina (283), Villanova (282) and UCLA (276). The current standings include results from NCAA fall competition in women’s field hockey, men’s water polo, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball and FCS football. Here are the current standings: 1.Stanford 345, 2.Virginia 337, 3.North Carolina 283, 4.Villanova 282, 5.UCLA 276, 6.Florida State 250, 7.Penn State 248, 8.Princeton 230.5, 9.Maryland 227, 10.Washington 223, 11.Wake Forest 216, 12.Oregon 203, 13.(tie)Duke and Ohio State 198, 15.Michigan State 194, 16.Portland 188; 17.Notre Dame 186, 18.Florida 183, 19.USC 175, 20.Minnesota 169.

December 28, 2009

1. Notre Dame freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri is playing on the 22-man 2010 U.S. Junior National Team participating in the 2010 World Junior Championships, Dec. 26 – Jan. 5, 2010. Palmieri was selected from a preliminary roster of 29 that participated in a three-day pre-tournament training camp in Grand Forks, N.D., and played exhibition contests versus the University of North Dakota (Dec. 19) and the Czech Republic (in Regina, Sask., on Dec. 22). He is one of 11 Division I college players on the team and the lone representative from the CCHA. Wisconsin leads the way with three players while St. Cloud State, Boston University, Rensselaer, Boston College, Notre Dame, North Dakota and Minnesota all have one player on the squad. A 2009 first-round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, Palmieri has played in 19 games for Notre Dame and has five goals and a pair of assists for seven points. He has picked up 11 penalties for 22 minutes and his 46 shots on goal tie him for second on the team in that category. A product of USA Hockey’s National Team Developmental Program, Palmieri will miss both of Notre Dame’s games at the Shillelagh Tournament on Jan. 2-3, 2010, while playing for the United States. That tournament will be played at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and features Colgate, Niagara and North Dakota. The U.S. began play in the World Junior Championships on Dec. 26 in Saskatoon, Sask., opening the tournament with a 7-3 victory versus Slovakia. Palmieri and Team USA then defeated Switzerland 3-0 yesterday, and will play Latvia Dec. 29 and Canada Dec. 31 before moving to the medal rounds on Jan. 2.

2. The Irish basketball teams are back at work. The third-rated women are in Orlando where they will take on Central Florida tomorrow before returning home for a Thursday afternoon visit from Vanderbilt (both games televised on CBS College Sports). The men returned for a Sunday night practice on campus in preparation for their BIG EAST opener Wednesday at home against Providence.

3. The Notre Dame baseball team was ranked 39th in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll released last week. The Irish were not only one of three BIG EAST schools among the top 40, but also was the second-highest ranked Northern school. Dave Schrage begins his fourth season as Notre Dame head coach, looking to again improve on the previous year’s record. The Irish finished 2009 at 36-23 overall, while going 15-12 in the BIG EAST and finished just a game shy of the conference tournament title game. Six everyday starters, junior outfielder and 2008 first-team all-BIG EAST choice David Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.), junior first baseman David Casey (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), junior second baseman Greg Sherry (Mendham, N.J.), junior third baseman Mick Doyle (LaGrange Park, Ill.) junior catcher Cameron McConnell (Bannockburn, Ill.) and senior designated hitter Ryan Connolly (Binghamton, N.Y.), all return from last year. The Irish also return senior Brayden Ashdown (Tucson, Ariz.), senior Casey Martin (Chesterton, Ind.), senior Ryne Intlekofer (Moorpark, Calif.) and junior Matt Scioscia, who combined to start 79 games for the Irish last season.

4. Notre Dame freshman linebacker Manti Te’o has decided he will return to campus for the spring semester and delay his Mormon mission trip for at least one year and possibly until later in his life. Te’o will continue at Notre Dame during his sophomore year and will be a member of the Irish football team in 2010. Te’o ranked fourth on the team in 2009 with 63 tackles including 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and added one pass breakup. He played in all 12 games and started nine contests. The 63 tackles recorded by Te’o were the most by a Notre Dame freshman since 1975 and the third most all-time by an Irish freshman (Bob Golic, 82 tackles in 1975; Ross Browner , 68 tackles in 1973). Te’o became a full-time starter for Notre Dame in the fifth game of the season against Washington and he ranked second on the Irish with 57 tackles over the final eight games (safety Kyle McCarthy had 64 tackles in that stretch). Te’o recorded 10 tackles against both Washington and Stanford and totaled nine tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup against Boston College. A native of Laie, Hawaii, Te’o is enrolled in Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies program. Comments from Te’o included: “My decision is to come back to Notre Dame and prepare for the next football season. I’m not sure just yet (when he will take a mission). I’m not sure if I’m going to take it after next year or later on in life. I mainly talked to my parents and sometimes some of my family members to get their input. They were all quite supportive. I also talked to my bishop up in South Bend. This was probably the biggest decision that I’ve had to face in my entire life. I knew the impact of my decision could have a positive influence on those who follow me and those who watch what I do. I always want to have a positive influence on them. I just thought that I was sent to Notre Dame for a purpose and that is a purpose I have to devote to.”

December 24, 2009

1. Forbes magazine rated Notre Dame as the second most valuable college football program in the country in a survey published Dec. 22. Using a set of standardized revenue and expense streams for each university surveyed, Forbes placed the team value of Fighting Irish football at $108 million. The University of Texas was rated first with a value of $119 million. Forbes also listed the “dividends” generated by each football program by analyzing how much money was contributed back to the university as a whole and to other athletics programs after subtracting the cost of running the football operation. The magazine also factored into the dividend equation money generated by a football program through bowl game revenue and for its surrounding community. Notre Dame’s overall dividend was placed at $38 million, and the magazine reported that St. Joseph County was the “only county in the nation in which incremental spending topped $10 million on home football weekends this season.” Forbes pointed out that, unlike its peers, Notre Dame does not maximize its revenue generating potential through in-stadium advertising (on large video screens or signage) or the sale of luxury suites. Following Texas and Notre Dame in the top 10 were Penn State, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia and Oklahoma. In two previous Forbes surveys on the value of college football programs, Notre Dame was ranked first followed by Texas.
Here was the top 20:

School (previous rank) Value Profit
1. Texas (2) $119M $59M
2. Notre Dame (1) $108M $38M
3. Penn State (13) $99M $50M
4. Nebraska (18) $93M $49M
5. Alabama (9) $92M $38M
6. Florida (5) $88M $41M
7. LSU (6) $86M $39M
8. Ohio State (10) $85M $36M
9. Georgia (3) $84M $45M
10. Oklahoma (11) $83M $40M
11. Michigan (4) $81M $34M
12. South Carolina (12) $80M $37M
13. Tennessee (7) $78M $29M
14. Auburn (8) $70M $30M
15. USC (14) $68M $33M
16. Michigan State (19) $57M $28M
17. Arkansas (15) $56M $20M
18. Texas A&M (16) $52M $22M
19. Wisconsin (20) $48M $17M
20. Oklahoma State (NR) $47M $18M

2. Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn (and former Irish star) was put on injured reserve Tuesday because of an unspecified foot injury, his season coming to the same conclusion as the last. Quinn was injured while scrambling for 24 yards in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 41-34 win over Kansas City on Sunday. Coach Eric Mangini gave no specifics about Quinn’s injury, but said his recovery could “take a little while.” Mangini said the team did not know if surgery was necessary and that it was unclear how Quinn, who was tripped up as he neared the sideline, was injured.

3. Former UNLV head coach Mike Sanford (and former Notre Dame assistant coach) is the new offensive coordinator at Louisville. Louisville coach Charlie Strong (another former Irish assistant) announced the hire on Tuesday. Sanford was fired as head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels last month. He went 16-43 in five seasons at UNLV, failing to make a bowl game in any season. Sanford previously worked as offensive coordinator at Utah under Urban Meyer. Utah averaged 43.3 points and 499.75 yards per game in 2004. Both marks ranked third in the nation.The 54-year-old Sanford’s other coaching stops include Stanford, Notre Dame and USC. Sanford said he expects to bring a balanced attack to the Cardinals, who ranked near the bottom in the Big East in most major offensive categories this season.

4. Luke Harangody had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to pace Notre Dame to an easy 101-69 victory over Bucknell on Tuesday night. Ben Hansbrough added 16 points and five assists for the Fighting Irish (11-2), and Tim Abromaitis had 15 points. The Irish dominated from the start, hitting their first five shots to open a 15-4 lead while the Bison were just two of 12 from the floor. By the time the Irish missed their first two-point shot, a jumper inside by Abromaitis, they were ahead 29-12. In the first half, the Irish made nine 3-pointers and shot 63 percent while the Bison shot just 24 percent. Notre Dame led 49-22 at halftime. Bryson Johnson scored 17 points for Bucknell (4-8), which lost its fifth straight. Post-game Notes: With his sixth point of the contest, Tory Jackson became the 50th 1,000-point scorer in Notre Dame history. He is just the fourth Irish player to score 1,000 points and dish out 500 career assists. He joins Chris Thomas, David Rivers and Elmer Bennett in that category. Jackson has 1,000 points and 574 assists during his Notre Dame career. . . . Luke Harangody moved past Adrian Dantley and into second place on Notre Dame’s all-time field goals made list. Harangody has made 809 field goals during his Fighting Irish career. He needs 208 more baskets to surpass Austin Carr. Harangody notched his 56th career double-double with his 20 points and 11 assists on Tuesday night. He is now tied with LaPhonso Ellis for the most double-doubles in Fighting Irish history. Harangody has six double-doubles this season. He moved past Pat Garrity and into fifth place on Notre Dame’s all-time free throws made list. Harangody has made 492 free throws during his Irish career and needs 34 more to catch Austin Carr in fourth place. His 11 rebounds on the night moved him past LaPhonso Ellis and into third place on Notre Dame’s career rebounding list with 1,078 boards. Harangody is 68 rebounds away from catching Walter Sahm in second place. . . . Notre Dame eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time since a 103-84 win at Providence on Feb. 21, 2009. The Irish have scored over 90 points five times this season. . . . The nine first-half three-pointers were the most in any half of play this season for the Irish. The previous high was eight in the first half of the season opener against North Florida. . . . Notre Dame’s 28 assists (on 37 field goals) were a season high. The previous high was 22 against IUPUI. . . . Notre Dame shot a season-high 60.7 percent from the field. That marked the first time the Irish have shot over 60 percent from the field since they shot 62.1 percent against Northern Illinois on Dec. 8, 2007. . . . The 52 points scored in the second half by the Irish were the most in any half of play this season for Notre Dame. The previous high was 50 in the second half against Saint Francis. . . . Freshman guard Joey Brooks netted a season-high 12 points. He became the seventh Irish player this season to reach double figures. A season-best 12 players scored for the Irish. All 12 Notre Dame players that saw time on the court scored at least two points.

5. Consider just how amazingly entertaining Notre Dame’s 2009 football season was when it came to fantastic finishes. Here’s a countdown as to when the 10 Irish games decided by seven points or less were determined:

OT (2) – Andre Dixon’s four-yard run in the second OT gives Connecticut the 33-30 victory. Dave Taggert kicks a field goal to tie it with 70 seconds left in regulation and misses a 37-yarder as time expires that would have won it.

OT – Robert Hughes caps the overtime drive with a one-yard run, then Kyle McCarthy and Harrison Smith jar the ball from a Washington receiver on fourth down for the 37-30 Irish win. That comes after the Huskies kick a field goal to tie with six seconds left in regulation.

:00 – Jimmy Clausen throws incomplete into the end zone as time expires from the USC four, as the Trojans hold on 34-27.

:11 – Greg Mathews catches a five-yard TD pass from Tate Forcier to make it 38-34 for Michigan.

:25 – Kyle Rudolph catches a two-yard TD pass on fourth down from Jimmy Clausen to make it 24-21 for Notre Dame over Purdue.

:36 – Notre Dame’s last-ditch, onside kick attempt is recovered by Navy, ending the final Irish comeback chance in the 23-21 Middie victory.

:57 – Kyle McCarthy’s interception seals the deal after Golden Tate catches a 33-yard TD pass from Jimmy Clausen at the 5:18 mark to make it 33-30 Notre Dame over Michigan State.

:59 – Stanford’s Toby Gerhart scores from the four to make it 45-38 for Stanford. Jimmy Clausen throws incomplete into the end zone from the Cardinal 31 as time expires.

1:38 – Brian Smith’s interception preserves a 20-16 Irish win over Boston College, as Irish force four second-half turnovers.

2:10 – Jimmy Clausen’s lost fumble at his own 28 (overturned from incomplete pass by review) ends Notre Dame’s final comeback hope in 27-22 Pittsburgh win.

6. Irish rowing head coach Martin Stone has announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. All six will enroll at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2010. Joining the Irish in 2010-11 to continue their athletic and academic careers will be: Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio), Kiersten DeHaven (Tampa, Fla.), Christina Dines (East Amherst, N.Y.), Olivia Kacsits (Rockford, Mich.), Elizabeth Linnemanstons (Mequon, Wis.) and Nicole Michels (Glenview, Ill.). “We’re very excited about the class we signed and the contributions that they will make at Notre Dame during their four years,” Stone says. “This class is a great match in terms of overall fit for our program and how they will succeed athletically and academically and the contributions that they will make within the Notre Dame community. They each have good skills and strong rowing credentials and will add depth to our program. I really like class that our coaching staff assembled this year.”

Molly Bruggeman º 5-11 º Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade Julienne: Two-sport athlete for Chaminade Julienne High School (volleyball and crew) … rowed for the Dayton Boat Club, rowing stroke for the varsity four boat … boat has finished each of the past two campaigns ranked in the top five nationally … received the Dayton Boat Club’s “Competitors Award” in both her sophomore and junior years … competed with the U.S. Junior National CanAmMex team, rowing for the USA … current Irish rowers Genevieve Malone and Abby Meyers both rowed for the Dayton Boat Club (DBC) … member of both the National Honor Society and Student Government at her school … serves as co-vice president of Student Government … hails from a list of family members who have either attended Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College dating back to the late 1940’s … father Mike is a 1981 graduate and mother Beth is a 1982 Saint Mary’s graduate … brother Matt will graduate in 2010 … another brother Patrick, plays football at Wittenberg University.

Kiersten DeHaven º 5-8 º Tampa, Fla./Academy of the Holy Names: Two-sport athlete at the Academy of the Holy Names (volleyball and crew) … earned five varsity letters over the course of her four years … finished second and third place at the Head of the Hooch in 2008 and 2009, respectively, with her 2x (two-seat scull) boat … captured the 2x Florida state championship in April of 2009, as well as winning the Southeastern Regional title in May of 2009 … finished in sixth place at the Youth Nationals with the 2x in June of 2009 … participant of the Junior Women’s High Performance sculling camp in January of 2009 … member of the National Honor Society.

Christina Dines º 5-3 º East Amherst, N.Y./Holy Angels Academy: Competed with the rowing team as a coxswain during her time at Holy Angels Academy, earning letters during her sophomore, junior and senior years … served as captain of team as a junior and was Coaches’ Leadership Award during her junior year … helped cox her boat to 16 top-five finishes since the 2007 season, including a race victory at the 2008 Fontana West Side Rowing Club with the women’s flyweight four … finished in eighth place at the 2009 SRAA Scholastic Nationals in the 21-boat field of the lightweight four … member of both the National Society of High School Scholars and Student Government … founder of the Big Sister, Little Sister program at Holy Angels in 2009.

Olivia Kacsits º 5-11 º Rockford, Mich./Rockford: Has been a member of the rowing team all four years at Rockford High School … has earned a varsity letter each year of competition … helped her varsity four boat to national rankings in both her sophomore and junior seasons with her boat capturing regional and state titles during the junior season … took second place in the state with the varsity eight boat during junior year as well … boat has qualified for nationals twice, finishing in the top-10 both years … member of the National Honor Society as well as Youth Initiative (school community service club).

Elizabeth Linnemanstons º 5-11 º Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels: Three-sport athlete at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, competing in basketball, rowing (club) and rugby (club) … undefeated in three seasons as member of rugby team, winning regional, state and national championships in each season as well … selected to the National U-19 rugby team but was unable to attend due to other sport conflicts … rows in the port position for her club rowing team during the summers … sister, Katherine, is a current member of the Irish Rowing team … former rower Kelsey Otero tennis player Katie Potts, attended the same high school … member of both the National Honor Society and Student Council.

Nicole Michels º 5-8 º Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy: Competed in three sports (rowing, soccer, cross country) at Loyola Academy, earning three varsity letters with the rowing program … has raced with the varsity eight since the spring of sophomore year … best results include 19th at the Head of the Charles in her junior year and 19th at the Scholastic Nationals in her sophomore season … boat placed third and second during her sophomore and junior years, respectively, at the Midwest Scholastics … member of the Dumbach Honors Program and National Honor Society … father Robert and mother Anne are both 1985 graduates of the University … National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

December 21, 2009

1. A solid weekend for both Notre Dame basketball teams, coming off a full week of final exams.

Coach Muffet McGraw was pleased with everything about her team after Sunday’s 90-31 victory over Charlotte, at least at first. “I really have no complaints about this one,” she said. Freshman guard Skylar Diggins wanted to make sure everyone knew how rare it was for McGraw to make such a statement. “Make sure you’re all recording this,” Diggins said, drawing a laugh from her coach. The fourth-ranked Irish (10-0) had reason to be happy after registering their most lopsided victory since a 113-35 win against Liberty to open the 1989-90 season. It was their fewest points allowed since a 66-31 win over St. John’s in 2002. Still, after a longer look at the final statistics, McGraw said she was disappointed that her team had 13 turnovers in each half. “So there’s something I can be unhappy about,” she said. Charlotte coach Karen Aston was disappointed her team didn’t give Notre Dame a better game considering the 49ers played the Irish tough in a 68-61 loss last season. “I was surprised by our lack of competitiveness,” she said. “I’m disappointed we didn’t compete better and give them a better game.” The 43 turnovers forced and 24 steals by the Irish were their most since they joined the Big East for the 1995-96 season. Five players had at least three steals, led by five by Kaila Turner . Ashley Barlow scored a season-high 19 points, Turner added 11 and all 12 Irish players who got in the game scored. The Irish extended the lead to 16-0 before Charlotte scored its first points, and added a 30-3 run in the second half. The Irish had more points in the paint (32), more points from their reserves (52) and more points off turnovers (44) than the 49ers had total points. Notre Dame also held Charlotte (5-6) to 24.5 percent shooting, the first time the 49ers shot below 30 percent in a game since 2006. Post Game Notes: Notre Dame posted the fourth-largest margin of victory in program history (59 points) and its largest since Nov, 24, 1989, when the Fighting Irish set a school record in that category by defeating Liberty, 113-35, in the first round of the UCF Rotary Classic in Orlando, Fla. (UCF ironically is Notre Dame’s next opponent on Dec. 29 in Orlando) … it also was Notre Dame’s largest margin of victory at home in the 23-year Muffet McGraw era, dating back to Feb. 28, 1985 (a 99-36 win over Butler); the only other larger win for the Fighting Irish (besides the 1989 Liberty and 1985 Butler games) came on Dec. 8, 1981, when Notre Dame defeated sister school Saint Mary’s (Ind.), 92-29 at the Joyce Center in the program’s second season at the Division I level … Notre Dame also set a school record with its fifth win this season by at least 35 points — in fact, Notre Dame’s last three wins have come by an average of 45.3 points per game (91.3-46.0) … the Fighting Irish held Charlotte to 31 points, the fewest by a Notre Dame opponent since Feb. 13, 2002, when the Fighting Irish posted a 66-31 win over BIG EAST foe St. John’s at the Joyce Center … senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow scored a season-high 19 points and became Notre Dame’s sixth different leading scorer in the past six games … Barlow moved up into 16th place on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,228 points, passing Letitia Bowen (1,219 points from 1991-95) … junior guard Brittany Mallory dished out a career-best seven assists … Notre Dame drew 8,821 fans for Sunday’s matinee, the 17th-largest crowd in school history, and second-largest of the season (9,080 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the Nov. 15 season opener).

Luke Harangody scored 23 points, four other Notre Dame players scored in double figures and the Fighting Irish shot 60 percent in the second half en route to an 84-73 victory over UCLA on Saturday. Harangody missed his first four shots, then went nine-of-15 from the floor the rest of the way. Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough hit back-to-back three-pointers early in the second half to spark an 11-3 spurt by the Irish, who went ahead 53-42 on a jumper by Tyrone Nash. The Irish (10-2) later extended the lead to 76-63 when Harangody scored on a fastbreak basket with 2:55 left. Michael Roll hit a jumper and Malcolm Lee hit a three-pointer and a layup as the Bruins (3-7) went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 76-70 with 65 seconds left. But Harangody scored on a fastbreak dunk and a pair of free throws to quickly restore the lead to 10 points. Post-Game Notes: The Irish had five double-figure scorers for the second time this season (Long Beach State, 11/19/09) . . . The Irish have scored at least 80 points in 10 games this season . . . Notre Dame shot at least 50 percent for the eighth time this season . . . The Irish have won by a double-figure margin in all 10 wins this season . . . Senior forward Luke Harangody recorded his 55th career 20+-point performance and has scored in double figures in every game this season . . . Senior guard Ben Hansbrough tied a season high with five three-pointers and scored in double figures for the ninth time this season . . . Junior forward Tim Abromaitis notched his 11th double-figure scoring game of the season and tied a career high with five rebounds . . . Junior forward Tyrone Nash scored in double figures for the fourth time this season.

2. From the current issue of Sporting News:

— Where Golden Tate is listed as a first-team All-American: “The most dynamic player in the game should have received more Heisman love.”

— Where former Irish coach Ara Parseghian is asked if the Notre Dame job is still a top five job: “Absolutely. It has all the facilities in the world. They have talent there. Charlie (Weis) came in and was an offensive guru, passing mainly. He didn’t get all the pieces together. I came in, and the same things we’re hearing now, I hard back then – that Notre Dame is not in the elite group, that it can’t be done because of academics. I would love to go there and start right now. You get the right guy in and it’s going to roll again. People are discounting Notre Dame. They do so at their own peril. Trust me.”

— Where a full page “I Remember” feature on Tim Brown includes his memories of the ’87 Michigan State game: Brown says after returning one punt for a score, he was taking oxygen when he was called on again after a three-and-out by the Irish defense. Brown didn’t think he could go because he was too tired, but he scored again anyway. Said Brown: “It’s amazing that you end up winning the Heisman Trophy on a play that shouldn’t have been.”

3. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly was introduced at halftime of the Notre Dame-UCLA basketball game on Saturday and offered this to the audience: “Two hundred fifty-nine days — you know what that is. Two hundred fifty-nine days, get yourself ready. I gotta tell our students, I understand you stand up for the whole game, isn’t that right? And it is true that you also have a push-up for every point, right? Well, you gotta use this holiday break to get in shape because you’re going to be doing a lot of push-ups this fall. I promise you this — we will play hard for four quarters. You will love the guys we put on the field because they’re going to give you everything. And at the end of the day … if you just play hard and you play aggressive, you’re going to win a lot of football games.”

4. John “Jack” Zilly, who played on two national championship football teams for Notre Dame in the 1940s, died Friday morning in Narragansett, R.I. He was 88. Zilly was a right end on Notre Dame’s 1943 championship team. He then joined the Navy and served two years in the Pacific during World War II. He returned to school and celebrated another national title in 1946. Zilly was a sixth-round draft pick by San Francisco of the All-American Football Conference. He wound up playing for the Los Angeles Rams from 1947-51 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1952. He joined the Montana State coaching staff in 1955 and spent three years coaching ends at Notre Dame from 1956-58.

5. Arizona Cardinals left tackle Mike Gandy (he played guard at Notre Dame from 1998-2000) has undergone surgery to repair a sports hernia. Coach Ken Whisenhunt says the operation was performed Friday in Philadelphia and the recovery time is expected to be three to six weeks. Gandy missed the Dec. 6 game against Minnesota but came back for the Monday night game against San Francisco. Gandy had started 31 consecutive games for the Cardinals before missing the Vikings contest.

December 18, 2009

1. The next time you’re in Notre Dame Stadium for a football game, check out section 8, row 24 – and you’ll find Chuck Falkenberg of Palatine, Ill. In 2010 he will begin his 70th consecutive year without missing an Irish home game. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1952 and seven of his 10 children also went to Notre Dame. He began this streak as a child with his father. He has been sitting in the same seats for 50 years. Falkenberg’s daughter Catherine is married to former Irish football linebacker Marvin Russell, who now is the senior vice president for human resources for Continuum Health Partners in New York.

2. Another wrinkle on the Ingelsby twins who joined the Notre Dame basketball family on Tuesday. They were delivered by Dr. Tracy Byrne, wife of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse assistant coach Gerry Byrne.

3. Check out the Jack Swarbrick Radio Show tomorrow morning on 89 WLS-AM in Chicago, 960 WSBT-AM in South Bend and XL 950 AM in Indianapolis. The special guest is Irish football coach Brian Kelly.

4. Notre Dame women’s soccer head coach Randy Waldrum has been selected as the 2009 Soccer America National Coach of the Year, the publication announced Thursday. It’s the first time the 11th-year Fighting Irish skipper has been chosen for a national coaching honor, although he is an eight-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) regional coach of the year (four during his tenure at Notre Dame), as well as an eight-time conference coach of the year (including four in the BIG EAST Conference while coaching the Fighting Irish). Most college soccer observers agree the 2009 season produced the finest coaching performance of Waldrum’s storied 28-year career, as he guided the Fighting Irish to a 21-4-1 record, their fourth consecutive NCAA College Cup appearance and a No. 4 ranking in the final NSCAA and Soccer America polls. Notre Dame came into the ’09 season with a significant challenge on its hands, having graduated three All-Americans (including 2008 Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks) and four of the top 21 picks in the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) draft. The Fighting Irish then saw their numbers dwindle even further when a rash of injuries sidelined numerous key upperclassmen, including senior midfielder/tri-captain Courtney Rosen (missed entire season with broken foot), senior forward/tri-captain Michele Weissenhofer (limited to 14 games with hamstring problems) and senior defender Haley Ford (missed seven games with leg injuries).

5. Notre Dame assistant coach Tony Alford will remain on staff, Fighting Irish head football coach Brian Kelly announced today. Alford will continue his duties with Notre Dame’s running backs. “I got to know Tony during our days in the Big East when he was at Louisville and I was at Cincinnati,” Kelly said. “He is a tremendous teacher and a great recruiter and I’m thrilled to keep him on the coaching staff. He has consistently developed his players at every school he has coached and his passion for the game is infectious. I look forward to working closely with him.” Alford, who just completed his first season on the Irish sidelines, made significant strides with the Notre Dame running backs. After the two worst rushing seasons in school history in 2007 (75.25 ypg) and 2008 (109.69 ypg), the Irish improved its rushing output by nearly 17 percent to 128.2 yards per game on the ground this season. In fact, the Irish churned out 135.6 per game on called running plays in 2009. Notre Dame also saw a major upgrade in rushing yards per carry. The Irish backfield averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in both 2007 and 2008, but improved by over 20 percent in 2009 to 4.7 yards per rush average. Director of football operations Chad Klunder, director of football personnel Tim McDonnell and director of football development Dave Peloquin will all stay on staff. Defensive graduate assistant Bryant Young has been offered to remain in his position on the new coaching staff. The rest of the Irish coaching staff will be determined and announced at a later date.

December 17, 2009

1. Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate was named to ‘Sporting News’ All-America first team Tuesday. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and senior center Eric Olsen were named to the third team. With three selections on one of the three teams, only Alabama, Florida and Texas had more honored by the publication. Tate also was named a first-team pick on the Associated Press team Tuesday and now has made all five of the teams used to determine the consensus All-America designation. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Walter Camp Football Foundation have also named him a first-team All-American. Tate becomes Notre Dame’s first unanimous All-American (and 31st overall) since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002. Before that you have to go back to 1993 to find another unanimous pick in offensive lineman Aaron Taylor. The 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner, Tate recently capped off the best receiving season in Notre Dame football history. He finished with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns in 2009. Tate added two rushing touchdowns, one punt return for a score and totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards, second most in Irish single-season history. Tate equaled or surpassed eight school records this year, including most catches and receiving yards in a season, tied for most touchdown catches in a season, most receiving yards in a career, most 100-yard receiving games in a season and career, most receiving yards per game in a season and tied for most consecutive games with a touchdown reception. Tate, who recently declared his intention to enter the 2010 NFL draft, departs as the most prolific receiver in Notre Dame history. He recorded 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 touchdowns. Tate ranks second in career touchdown receptions and is tied for third in career receptions.

Clausen, who also recently stated his intention to enter the upcoming NFL draft, completed his best season at Notre Dame as he completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards with 28 TDs and only four interceptions in 2009. He set a school record by passing for at least 300 yards in seven games and his four fourth-quarter comebacks for victories are the most in a season by an Irish quarterback. Clausen leaves Notre Dame ranked first or second in 32 passing categories, including tops in career completion percentage, completions per game for a career and tied for first in lowest interception percentage over a career. He completed 695 of 1,110 pass attempts for 8,148 yards with 60 touchdowns and 27 interceptions while starting 34 of 35 games played for the Irish.

Olsen switched from guard to center in his final season and graded out best among Notre Dame’s offensive linemen in 2009. He allowed only one sack in over 450 pass attempts this season and helped Irish running backs and wide receivers average 5.0 yards per carry this season.

2. The Naimoli Family Sports Club area of the new Purcell Pavilion will open for business on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, when both Irish basketball teams will play at home (women vs. Villanova at 2:00 p.m. EST, men vs. West Virginia at 8:00 p.m. EST). The new Mike Leep Sr. Varsity Shop will be open on that date as well, while the Notre Dame ticket operation is expected to move into its new facilities at Gate 9 on Jan. 15-16.

3. Former chair of the Notre Dame Faculty Board on Athletics (2000-06) Fernand “Tex” Dutile is excited about Notre Dame’s football coaching hire because he, like Brian Kelly, is an Assumption College grad (1962). Dutile continues to teach in the Notre Dame Law School.

4. Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate paid a surprise visit to new football coach Brian Kelly in Kelly’s office on Tuesday. As Kelly kidded, he tried to lock them in the office until they changed their minds and agreed to stay for another season.

5. When Brian Kelly left Central Michigan to become head coach at Cincinnati, he sold his house in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., to his replacement, Butch Jones. So, yesterday, when Jones was named the new coach at Cincinnati, one of the first things Kelly did was ask Jones if he wanted to buy his house again.

6. Washington Redskins executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato has resigned. Cerrato headed up Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts under Lou Holtz as an Irish assistant coach from 1986-90.

7. Brian Kelly appeared on the Jim Rome radio show on Tuesday, on Thursday morning was on live on a Grand Rapids, Mich., station and Thursday night was slated to be on with David Kaplan on WGN in Chicago. On Friday, the ESPN/DirecTV “Road to the National Championship” bus comes to campus and will do both live and taped segments with Kelly via satellite. This morning in his Grand Rapids radio interview, Kelly said his goal for the first season was to “change the perception of Notre Dame football” in terms of the Irish being a significant player on the national scene.

8. Irish women’s swimming and diving head coach Brian Barnes recently announced the signing of six high school student-athletes who will continue their athletic and academic careers at Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2010. Sarah Dotzel (York, Pa.), Mikelle Masciantonio (Emmaus, Pa.), Christen McDonough (Charlotte, N.C.), Sydney Rickelman (Evansville, Ind.), Kelly Ryan (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Lauren Stauder (Carmel, Ind.) have each signed a national letter of intent to join the Irish program. The collective athletic resume of Notre Dame’s early signees includes high school state champions and state record holders, multiple top-8 Junior National performers and one member of USA Swimming’s National Youth Team. The class also boasts a bevy of U.S. Olympic Trials, World Championship Trials, U.S. Open and Senior National qualifying performances. “Analyzing this class from a performance-only standpoint is really exciting,” Barnes said. “But when I put my excitement for our early signees into words, I find myself talking extensively about their caliber and character. This is a bright, motivated group of young women who share a love of competition, an understanding of the value of hard work and an appreciation of team concepts. During the recruiting process they came to the realization that Notre Dame was the very best place for them to develop and capitalize on their abilities and talents. When each of these six young women signed with Notre Dame, I took it as a major compliment to our coaching staff and the current team. As for the potential achievement of this class, I’d like to leave the door wide open. It will be another four years before the talents and abilities of the class of 2014 are fully realized. But one thing is certain, as our program will get a lot done with this class over the next four years and we will have a lot of fun along the way.” Here are specifics on the six newcomers: Sarah Dotzel • York, Pa. — Butterfly — York Catholic High School • York YMCA: Top Times (short course): 100 butterfly (55.80), 200 butterfly (2:00.82); Mikelle Masciantonio • Emmaus, Pa.– Freestyle / Breaststroke / IM — Emmaus High School • EMAC: Top Times (short course): 50 free (23.22), 200 IM (2:00.83), 100 breast (1:03.41); Christen McDonough • Charlotte, N.C. — Breaststroke — Charlotte Catholic High School • Swim MAC: Top Times (short course): 100 breast (1:04.38), 200 breast (2:23.97); Sydney Rickelman • Evansville, Ind. — Diving — F.J. Reitz High School • STARZ Diving Club; Kelly Ryan • Hinsdale, Ill. — Backstroke • Freestyle — Fenwick High School • Westmont Swim Club: Top Times: 100 back (1:03.94 long course, 55.42 short course), 200 back (2:17.69 long course, 2:02.00 short course), 200 free (1:51.88 short course); Lauren Stauder • Carmel, Ind. — Breaststroke — Carmel High School • Carmel Swim Club: Top Times: 100 breast (1:11.24 long course, 1:02.84 short course), 200 breast (2:30.49 long course, 2:17.92 short course).

9. The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday that Notre Dame rightside hitter Serinity Phillips was named to its All-American team. Phillips, a senior from Valley Center, Calif., earned third-team honors. Phillips led the Irish to the BIG EAST Conference regular season title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament this season. The Irish ranked as high as No. 23 on the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll and finished with a 21-7 overall record after going 15-0 in BIG EAST regular-season play. Phillips becomes the 13th Irish volleyball player since 1993 to earn All-America status, as the Notre Dame program has shelved 18 All-America citations over that same span. A first team all-AVCA Northeast Region choice, Phillips was also a first team all-BIG EAST selection. In 2009, Phillips led Notre Dame in kills/set (3.34), total blocks (99.0) and points/set (4.05). Phillips is set to graduate in May with a degree in Spanish from the College of Arts and Letters.

10. Three Notre Dame men’s soccer players have earned All-Great Lakes Region honors for the 2009 campaign. Senior Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan.) was named to the second team, while fellow senior Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla.) and sophomore Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass.) were third-team selections. This marks the second straight second-team all-region accolade for Thomas. The midfielder, who was a two-time all-BIG EAST pick, led Notre Dame with six assists this past season in addition to scoring six goals. Thomas, a starter in all 23 games in 2009, recently garnered Academic All-America honors and will join Dike at the Major League Soccer combine in January. Dike, a forward, was named the 2009 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. The fifth-year senior played in every match and led the Fighting Irish with 11 goals and 26 points this past season. Dike is a two-time all-BIG EAST first-team selection and this is his second straight all-region honor. He was named to the All-Great Lakes Region first team last season. Maund helped to anchor the Irish backline by starting all 18 matches in which he appeared. He missed five games during the early portion of the season as he competed with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Maund tallied one goal on the season. The central defender was named to the all-BIG EAST third team back in November. This is the first all-region selection for Maund.

11. Irish sophomore Kristy Frilling and the U.S. national team took top honors at the Fourth Annual Master’U BNP Paribas held Dec. 9-14 in Poitiers, France. The Master’U BNP Paribas is an international collegiate competition featuring eight teams composed of college and university players from around the world. Joining Frilling on this year’s U.S. squad was Georgia Tech’s Irina Falconi, who won the 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American Championship, and Tennessee’s Caitlin Whoriskey, who won the doubles title at the 2009 All-American. Former Irish standout and current Illinois women’s tennis coach Michelle Dasso coached the women’s team. The U.S. team opened play with a 7-0 sweep of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Frilling teamed with Whoriskey to knock off Milica Tomic and Sarah Frey, 6-2, 6-1, in doubles action. As the U.S. defeated Great Britain 5-1 in the semifinals, Frilling downed Annabel Bann, 6-3, 6-4. In the final match, the US rallied from a 3-1 deficit, winning the last three matches to claim the team crown. Frilling played a key role in the finals as she and mixed doubles partner Quigley toppled Nathalie Piquion and Maxime Quinqueneau, 6-4, 6-2, to clinch the final point for the title. The U.S. competed for the second consecutive year against a field that included teams from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Mexico. Frilling and the Notre Dame women’s tennis team open the dual season Jan. 23 at Iowa.

12. Notre Dame stands in 15th place in the second set of fall sports standings released today in the 2009-10 Learfield Sports Division I Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Fall NCAA competition so far has earned the Irish 161 points — 83 points from their national semifinal finish in women’s soccer, 50 from a second-round appearance in men’s soccer — plus 28 more based on their 23rd-place finish in women’s cross country. Yet to come are fall points for Notre Dame’s appearance in the NCAA women’s volleyball bracket. Virginia (337 points) leads the competition, thanks to its NCAA championship in men’s soccer and a national semifinal slot in women’s field hockey. The Cavaliers are followed by North Carolina (283), Stanford (281) and Princeton (230.5).

13. Notre Dame men’s basketball assistant coach Martin Ingelsby and his wife Colleen became parents of twins (one boy, one girl) on Tuesday. Names are to be announced ? and all involved are in good health.

14. Here’s the reaction of Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick to the prospect of future Big Ten Conference expansion: “Our strong preference is to remain the way we are. Independence is a big part of the tradition of the program and our identity. We’d sure like to try to maintain it. All of this has a lot more to do with our priorities than it does with business issues. Our independence is tied up in a lot of the rivalries we have. We play Navy every year and have the tradition of USC weekends. Frankly, it works pretty well to play USC in October at home and in November at their place. The question that any school faces, not just Notre Dame, is: Does this start the dominoes falling again, like the last round of reconfiguration? It’s less about our willingness to enter into discussions than what happens to the industry. What are the implications?”

15. The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer programs have released the dates for their 2010 coaches clinic. This year’s clinic will be held in conjunction with the Region 2 Coaching Symposium. The clinic will begin the morning of Friday, March 12, and will conclude at 12 noon (ET) on Saturday, March 13. Continue to check und.com for more details, including the naming of the guest lecturer.

16. New Notre Dame football coach Brain Kelly will be introduced at halftime of the Notre Dame-UCLA men’s basketball game Saturday by athletics director Jack Swarbrick.

December 14, 2009

1. Final exams began today at Notre Dame and run through Friday – so there’s nothing on the athletic calendar until Saturday’s nationally televised men’s basketball game with UCLA from Purcell Pavilion.

2. This quote came from a Scout.com piece on football recruiting in Ohio and is attributed to ESPN Radio personality Eric Kuselias, based on a meeting with Brian Kelly: “Folks, we get a lot of people that come through the ESPN campus. We get Kobe, Jordan, Stoops, Meyer, etc. You name it . . . we get it. I can say maybe the most impressive person to come through here is Brian Kelly. Folks, from the people in the cafeteria, to the people in the executive suits . . . the guy nailed it. He was awesome, as gracious as anyone to EVER come through here. Stud. Star. Gracious, confident, professional, everything.”

3. Between on-demand views and live views, the Brian Kelly press conference has been seen 193,903 times since Friday on und.com.

4. Notre Dame has three former players playing for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. Rob Kurz has started six games and is averaging 14.5 points and 12.2 rebounds (he also leads team in assists with 17), Kyle McAlarney has started five of six and averages 12.0 points – and Ryan Ayers has started three of six and averages 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds.

5. Here are a couple of events in 2010 that benefit the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation:
— On April 10, the Notre Dame baseball team will play the South Bend Silver Hawks at 5:30 p.m. at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend. A portion of the proceeds benefits the APMRF.
— On May 14-15, 2010, the “One More Victory, Ara!” Celebrity Golf and Gala Weekend will be held at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz.

6. Senior epeeist Kelley Hurley took home the women’s epee gold medal at the United States Fencing Association (USFA) North America Cup event that concluded Dec. 6 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The event featured the best fencers on the continent, including over 1,250 athletes, and marked the third 2009-10 North American Cup event of the year. Hurley overcame a field of 128 fencers to claim the women’s epee gold. In a dramatic gold medal bout, Hurley downed Ainsley Switzer of Canada by a 15-10 margin. Hurley had been trailing by one touch with one minute left in the bout, but she rattled off five consecutive touches in a 39-second span to close out the contest. Hurley was joined in the women’s epee field by her sister and Irish teammate, Courtney Hurley, as well as by sophomore Diane Zielinski. Courtney Hurley was knocked out of the elimination draw by Kelley and went on to finish 13th, while Zielinski finished 70th. The Irish also had a strong showing in men’s sabre, as Avery Zuck and Barron Nydam tied for fifth. Sophomore Marcel Frenkel finished 30th and sophomore Keith Feldman finished 40th in the men’s sabre field of 105 entrants. In men’s epee, freshman James Kaull had an impressive run, finishing 33rd out of 211 men’s epee entrants. In the women’s foil field of 93 participants, former Irish all-American Alicja Kryczalo finished fifth, while sophomore Radmila Sarkisova finished 21st and 2009 graduate Adrienne Nott placed 24th. Junior Hayley Reese finished 30th and freshman Grace Hartman placed 42nd.

7. The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with CBSSports.com College Network, is excited to announce the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Toolbar, the newest way for fans to follow the Fighting Irish online. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Toolbar is designed to keep fans up to date on the latest Notre Dame Fighting Irish news and scores. The Toolbar is equipped with several features which will give fans a virtual front row seat to all of Notre Dame athletics. The Messaging Component will serve as a direct line of communication between Notre Dame Athletics and fans. This way, Notre Dame can deliver breaking news, video highlights, and special offers directly to the fans’ browsers – ensuring that fans are the first to receive the latest Notre Dame news. The Notre Dame Toolbar’s scoreboard component will allow Notre Dame fans from all over the world to follow the games directly on their browser. The score will render directly on the toolbar, and will update automatically every minute so that Notre Dame fans everywhere will never miss a play. Fans will also receive Points for searching and shopping with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Toolbar. Notre Dame fans will be able to follow the Irish wherever they are – at work, abroad, and at school – and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Toolbar will allow fans to Never Miss a Moment of the action.

8. A busy day on the radio front for Brian Kelly. He was live today on Sirius Radio with Chris Russo, as well as with former Notre Dame sports information assistant Eddie White on 1070 AM “The Fan” in Indianapolis, and with ESPN 1000 in Chicago. On Tuesday, Kelly will be live at 9:12 a.m. on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio – he’ll be on the Dan Patrick Show at 9:35 a.m. – then on 960 WSBT’s “Weekday Sportsbeat” at 6:30 p.m. in South Bend.

December 13, 2009

1. The first person to embrace Brian Kelly at the end of his formal press conference Friday was Ira Childress, a Ludington, Mich., product who played football in the mid-`90s for Kelly at Grand Valley State. Childress is now the NCAA’s assistant director of diversity and inclusion in Indianapolis.

2. Despite Notre Dame men’s basketball loss to Loyola Marymount last night, there are only four teams in the country with more wins that Notre Dame’s nine – 10-0 Kentucky, 10-0 New Mexico, 10-0 Syracuse and 10-1 Western Carolina.

3. Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate was selected to the Football Writers Association of America All-America Team announced on ABC-TV yesterday. Recipient Thursday of the 2009 Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top collegiate receiver, Tate has also been named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation and CBSSports.com. Tate set Notre Dame single-season records with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and tied the school record with 15 touchdown receptions. He also set school records with nine games of at least 100 receiving yards, eight consecutive games with a receiving touchdown and highest receiving yards per game average for a season (124.7 yards). Tate, who recently declared his intention to enter the 2010 NFL draft, departs as the most prolific receiver in Notre Dame history. He recorded 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 touchdowns. Tate ranks second in career touchdown receptions and is tied for third in career receptions. The FWAA All-America Team, the second-longest continuously published team in major college football, was announced on ABC-TV for the sixth straight season during a one-hour show that was sponsored by AT&T. The FWAA has named an All-America team in some form since 1944.Tate is the first Notre Dame player selected to the FWAA All-America Team since wide receiver Jeff Samardzija in 2006. Tate now has made three of the five teams used to determine the consensus All-America designation. If he’s named both to the Associated Press and Sporting News teams, he’ll become Notre Dame’s first unanimous All-American since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002. Before that you have to go back to 1993 to find another unanimous pick in lineman Aaron Taylor.

4. Notre Dame men’s lacrosse head coach Kevin Corrigan has received the Frenchy Julien Service Award from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). The award is presented in honor of former Chief Referee, Joseph R. “Frenchy” Julien for outstanding and continuous service to the sport. Corrigan has been Notre Dame’s head coach for the past 21 seasons and he has compiled a 196-96 record at the school. His Fighting Irish squads have won 14 conference titles and finished in the top 20 of the national rankings on 16 occasions. Corrigan has guided the Irish to 13 NCAA Championship appearances, including four trips to the quarterfinals and a berth into the national semifinals in 2001. This past season, Corrigan and the Fighting Irish went 15-1 to post school records in wins and winning percentage. Notre Dame matched a program record by reaching No. 2 in the national polls. The Irish led the nation in goals-against average (6.19) and earned the seventh seed in the NCAA Championship. Corrigan has served the USILA in several capacities. Eleven years ago he started as the NCAA Division I representative to the USILA Board of Directors and eight years later he was promoted to the Presidents position. During his term as president, Corrigan spent endless hours dealing with ethics issues, officiating fees and meetings.

5. Notre Dame’s new football coach already has won one national coach of the year award – and he’s a candidate for another. The Football Writers Association of America has announced seven finalists for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award to be voted upon by the entire membership. The list features coaches from five undefeated teams as well as last season’s recipient. With the 2009 regular season completed, the FWAA, in conjunction with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, has tabbed the following coaches as finalists: Texas’ Mack Brown, Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson, Brian Kelly, Oregon’s Chip Kelly, TCU’s Gary Patterson, Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Alabama’s Nick Saban. The finalists will be placed on a ballot which will be distributed electronically to the entire FWAA membership. The FWAA coaching award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 years. He has more Division I victories (408) than any other coach in the history of college football. The winner of the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be announced and honored at a reception on Jan. 5 in Newport Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

6. Jarred DuBois hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left to lift Loyola Marymount to an 87-85 victory over Notre Dame last night. A three-pointer by Ben Hansbrough with 1:50 left had given the Irish (9-2) an 85-82 lead. But the Lions cut the lead to one when Vernon Teel scored on a fast-break layup after stealing the ball from Hansbrough. After an exchange of possessions, Tim Abromaitis was called for a five-second violation when he couldn’t get the ball in, giving the ball back to the Lions. That’s when Dubois, who finished with 12, hit the three. Jackson had a chance to tie it, but his jumper with two seconds left missed, and Drew Viney got the rebound. Luke Harangody had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame. The loss snapped Notre Dame’s 41-game non-conference home game win streak. The Irish last lost to a non-conference opponent at home, 71-57, to Michigan on Dec. 3, 2005 . . . . Notre Dame had two players score 20+-points for the second time this season (Abromaitis 31, Harangody 29 vs. UCF). The Irish scored at least 80 points for the ninth time this season. Notre Dame connected on 10 or more three-pointers for the second straight game and fourth time this season. The Irish had just six turnovers, the fewest in a game this season. With 24 points against Loyola Marymount, senior forward Luke Harangody moved into fourth place on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list with 2,094 points for his career. Harangody reached the 20-point plateau for the 54th time in his career, moving into sole possession of third place on Notre Dame’s all-time 20+-point performance list. Harangody also recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 55th of his career, just one shy of tying LaPhonso Ellis for the all-time Notre Dame record. Senior guard Ben Hansbrough notched a career-high nine assists against Loyola Marymount. Junior forward Tyrone Nash set a career high with 13 points against the Lions. Abromaitis tied a career high with four three-point baskets against the Lions.

7. Notre Dame’s women’s hoops team got off to a fast start. Brittany Mallory made sure the third-ranked Fighting Irish didn’t let up. The Irish were ahead 13-2 when Mallory came off the bench five minutes into the game. She made her first five baskets, scoring 13 points in just over four minutes to help the Irish extend the lead to 31-10 with a three-pointer midway through the first half. She finished with a career-high 22 points in 20 minutes of play to lead the Irish to an 88-47 win yesterday over Valparaiso. Mallory, whose previous career high was 19 points against Georgia Southern last season, said she focuses on making sure there is no letdown when she enters the game. “I’ve just got to come in and do what I can,” she said. “It’s just a matter of keeping the intensity that my team’s already started.” The Crusaders (3-5), who lost their fifth straight, went on a 10-2 run to close to 33-20 on a three-point play by Raegan Moore with 6:12 left before intermission. But Valparaiso missed its last nine shots of the half and trailed 45-22 at halftime. The Irish pulled away throughout the second half. Valparaiso shot 29 percent and had 29 turnovers and just six assists. Becca Bruszewski had 11 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of play for the Irish, Ashley Barlow had 11 points and Natalie Novosel added 12 points off the bench . . . . Notre Dame continues the second-best start in school history, while its current nine-game winning streak is its longest since a 10-game run from Nov. 20, 2007-Jan. 2, 2008 … the Fighting Irish tied a school record with their fourth 35-point win of the season, matching last year’s mark … Notre Dame has forced at least 20 turnovers in all nine games this season, while the Fighting Irish have come up with at least 29 takeaways in four of five home games thus far … the Fighting Irish also held the Horizon League’s top scorer, Valparaiso’s Betsy Adams (17.1 ppg. at tipoff), scoreless in 30 minutes of action (0-8 FG, 0-3 3FG) … junior guard Brittany Mallory becomes the sixth different player to lead the Fighting Irish in scoring this season, and the second to do so off the bench; freshman guard Skylar Diggins scored a season-high 21 points (then the most by a Notre Dame player this year) as a reserve in an 84-79 win over #23/24 San Diego State on Nov. 26 at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands … senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow moved up another rung on the Notre Dame all-time scoring ladder into 17th place with 1,207 points, passing Heidi Bunek (1,202 from 1985-89) … Schrader made her 100th career start on Saturday, becoming the 12th player in school history to reach that milestone (and the first since Jacqueline Batteast in 2004-05).

8. The University of Notre Dame football program was named recipient of the 2009 Academic Achievement Award from the American Football Coaches Association, the AFCA announced Thursday. The trophy, won for the eighth time by Notre Dame, recognizes graduate rate successes on the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level. The AFCA annually honors the school with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team based on a particular entering class. Notre Dame shares the 2009 honor with Miami (Fla.) after both schools graduated 100 percent of its freshman class that began in 2002. The Irish were also honored with the award in 1982, 1983, 1984 (tie), 1988, 1991, 2001 (tie) and 2007 (tie). Only Duke has claimed the award more times than Notre Dame. This year’s award marks the second time the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) formula has been used to select the winner. From 1981 to 2007 the award was presented based on a formula used by the College Football Association and AFCA. Thirty-nine other institutions will be recognized for graduating 75 percent or more of their football student-athletes. Nine of those institutions — Alabama, Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Navy, Northwestern, Penn State, Rice, Southern Mississippi — achieved a rate of 90 percent or better. The remaining 30 institutions are: Air Force, Army, Central Florida, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Marshall, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Troy, Tulane, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington and West Virginia. The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the CFA disbanded in 1997 the AFCA stepped in to present the award and conduct a graduation rate survey that encompassed all members of the FBS.

9. Notre Dame held a dinner Monday night at the Penn Club in New York to honor College Football Hall of Fame inductee Tim Brown (he was inducted the following night at the National Football Foundation’s annual induction dinner Tuesday). Among those attending Monday night were former players John Scully, Ned Boxcar, Mike Brennan, Byron Spruill, Tom Galloway and Chris Zurich. Also attending were NBC president Ken Schanzer and Notre Dame ISP Radio Network play-by-play voice Don Criqui.

10. Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson made a career-high 38 saves and the Notre Dame offense got goals from Nick Larson and Calle Ridderwall as the Irish handed Michigan a 2-0 loss today in front of a sold-out Joyce Center. The shutout, Johnson’s second of the season and the team’s third of the year, came with Notre Dame playing without four injured defensemen for the second night in a row due to injuries. A variety of Irish forwards spent time on the blue line as the Notre Dame defense turned things over to their goaltender who held the high-flying Wolverines at bay for 60 minutes. The win snapped a three-game Irish losing streak (including 4-1 to Michigan Friday night in Ann Arbor), the longest losing streak at Notre Dame since the end of the 2005-06 season; head coach Jeff Jackson’s first in South Bend. The victory returned Notre Dame to the .500 mark as the Irish are now 8-8-4 on the season and 5-5-4-2 in the CCHA, good for 21 points and sixth place in the CCHA standings. Michigan falls to 9-9-0 on the year and the Wolverines are 5-7-0 in conference play, good for 15 points. With defensemen Sam Calabrese, Ian Cole, Sean Lorenz and Eric Ringel out of the lineup, Jackson had forwards Riley Sheahan, Billy Maday, Ben Ryan and Ryan Guentzel see regular action on defense.

11. Here’s what new Irish football coach Brian Kelly’s day looked like on Friday:
8:30 a.m. – leave Cincinnati with family via plane for South Bend
9:00 a.m. – arrive South Bend
9:45 a.m. – meeting with Father John Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick
11:15 a.m. – meeting with Notre Dame football team
Noon – lunch with University officers
1:30 p.m. – press conference at the Gug
4:00 p.m. – stop at Father Jenkins’ holiday open house in Main Building
4:30 p.m. – meeting with University academic leaders
5:00 p.m. – reception with Notre Dame head coaches, members of Faculty Board on Athletics and other athletic administrators
7:30 p.m. – dinner with family members and athletic staff
Kelly drove back to Cincinnati on Saturday and will be in his Notre Dame office Monday morning.

12. Once the formal press conference was over Friday, Brian Kelly taped individual interviews with local television affiliates, with ESPN’s George Smith and with und.com’s Jack Nolan, did a live interview with ESPN Radio, taped a “Five Good Minutes” segment for ESPN’s PTI (you can find it on YouTube) and did a quick photo shoot for the Chicago Tribune (he jumped out for about a half-minute for shots in front of Notre Dame Stadium on the way to the Main Building).

13. In attendance at the press conference Friday were Brian Kelly’s parents Paul and Regina (they live on Cape Cod, Mass.), his brother Paul (and fiancé Karen) who is from the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. Brian’s also has a brother Kevin who lives near Grand Junction, Colo., and a sister Kim who lives in Santa Barbara, Calif.

December 6, 2009

1. The Tostitos brand, in a joint effort with the USO, today announced plans to field the first-ever Tostitos “Salute the Troops” Bowl, a one-of-a-kind college football experience that will bring the tastes and traditions of college football bowl games (and feature former Irish star Raghib Ismail) to active military serving in the Persian Gulf. The “Salute the Troops” Bowl will be held at an undisclosed military base in the Persian Gulf while other college bowl games take place back in the United States, and include an all-star flag football competition that puts teams of college football legends — partnered with military service heroes — in a truly unique gridiron match-up designed to celebrate the armed forces and provide a taste of home. Highlights from the event will be captured and shared in the U.S. at halftime during the nationwide broadcast of the 2010 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on FOX on Jan. 4, 2010. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division has had a relationship with college football for decades, highlighted by its 15-year title sponsorship of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The event for the troops, which also will include a pre-game pep rally and tailgate party, will put legendary college football coaches Barry Switzer and Tommy Bowden at the helm of two unique teams composed of former college all stars and active military personnel for a one-of-a-kind football showdown. Football greats Rocket Ismail, Tommie Frazier, and Tony Casillas, among others, will participate in the on-field action.The full roster of players includes: Tee Martin – During his junior year, led the 1998 University of Tennessee team to a perfect record of 13-0; Tommie Frazier – Led the Nebraska Cornhuskers in back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 1994 and 1995; Garrison Hearst – Standout running back for University of Georgia in the early 1990s; Ty Detmer – Legendary quarterback for Brigham Young University and winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1990; Rocket Ismail – Helped University of Notre Dame win the NCAA National Championship in 1988; Tony Casillas – Helped win the 1985 NCAA National Championship for the University of Oklahoma and a two-time All-American; Brian Bosworth – College standout linebacker at the University of Oklahoma in the mid-1980s and the winner of the first two Butkus Awards; Bruce Smith – Finished his college career at Virginia Tech in 1984 as one of the most honored players in Hokie history; Joe Washington – Two-time first-team All-American at University of Oklahoma in the mid-1970s.

2. Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and junior wide receiver Golden Tate shared the 2009 most valuable player award, presented by the Notre Dame Monogram Club at the 89th Notre Dame Football Banquet. The duo was selected in a vote by the 2009 Fighting Irish football team and the MVP award was one of five awards presented Friday evening at the banquet sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley. Fifth-year senior Kyle McCarthy was selected the Nick Pietrosante Award winner in a vote conducted by the football team. The Pietrosante Award is bestowed upon the player who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride shown by the late Irish All-America fullback. Senior center Eric Olsen was presented the Guardian of the Year Award, given annually to the top offensive lineman. The Guardian of the Year Award is presented by the Guardian Life Insurance Company, a sponsor of Irish football on ISP Sports radio broadcasts. Sophomore Darius Fleming was named the Lineman of the Year from the Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Fleming posted a team-best 12 tackles for loss and ranked second on the squad with three sacks. Fifth-senior cornerback Mike Anello and senior offensive guard Chris Stewart were both honored with the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award. Anello graduated in three and a half years with a finance degree and earned a 3.937 cumulative grade-point average including a perfect 4.0 GPA in his finance courses. He was a second-team Academic All-American for the second year in a row and was recipient of the Paul Conway Award, given annually to the top finance student at Notre Dame. Anello is currently enrolled in the graduate studies program. Stewart earned his history degree in three and a half years and graduated with a 3.536 cumulative GPA. A member of the Academic Honors Program at Notre Dame, Stewart was also a member of the History Honors Program at Notre Dame and was selected to Phi Alpha Theta, the national honors society for history majors. Stewart is currently enrolled in the graduate studies program. Former Irish head coach Charlie Weis presented each of the awards and spoke to the private audience that included families and guests of the players, coaches and staff members.

3. Other than Notre Dame’s impressive men’s basketball win over Central Florida today, fueled by a breakout game by Tim Abromaitis, it was a tough weekend for the Irish on the ice, court and pitch. Notre Dame suffered an NCAA first-round volleyball loss, a national semifinal women’s soccer defeat ands two shutout losses in hockey against the #1 team in the nation. Details below.

4. Tim Abromaitis scored a career-high 31 points, Luke Harangody added 29 and Notre Dame shot 55 percent to beat Central Florida 90-72 on Sunday. Abromaitis, making his first start, matched his previous career high in the first half with 17 points, tying the score at 41 with a basket at the buzzer. Harangody, who was on the bench for the final 5:40 of the first half after picking up his third foul, then hit a 15-foot jumper and had a three-point play to spark an 8-0 run to start the second half. Notre Dame (8-1) extended the lead to 11 points three times before a 9-0 run gave the Irish a 75-55 lead with 7:55 left following a pair of free throws by Abromaitis. The Irish led by as much as 85-61 when Carleton Scott scored inside, and Central Florida (6-2) never again got closer than 17 points. Abromaitis, who did not play as a sophomore last season, was 10-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Ben Hansbrough added 11 points for the Irish and Harangody and Scott had seven rebounds each. Notre Dame played the final 13 minutes without point guard Tory Jackson, who twisted his ankle. Coach Mike Brey said he could have played, but decided to rest him with the Irish leading comfortably. Jackson finished with nine assists in 27 minutes of play. The game was close throughout the first half after the Irish jumped to an 11-4 lead. The Knights quickly responded with a 13-2 run, going ahead 17-13 on a pair of free throws by Keith Clanton. There were 16 lead changes and 11 ties in the half. The Knights shot 61.5 percent in the first half, a new opponent first-half high in the Mike Brey era. With his 29 points against UCF, senior forward Luke Harangody recorded the 53rd 20+-point performance of his career, tying Troy Murphy for third on Notre Dame’s all-time list. Harangody now has 2,054 points for his career and needs just four more to tie David Rivers for fifth on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list.

5. On cold night more reminiscent of South Bend, Ind., than College Station, Texas, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s soccer season came to an end with a 1-0 loss Friday to North Carolina in the 2009 NCAA College Cup semifinal game in front of 8,026 fans at the Aggie Soccer Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University. In the latest chapter of women’s college soccer’s biggest rivalry, a valiant defensive effort that included six saves by Irish goalkeeper Nikki Weiss was not enough to negate a North Carolina offense that earned the game’s only breakthrough with just under eight minutes remaining, as Casey Nogueira scored from two-yards out after she received a low through ball from Lucy Bronze. Six of the teams’ last seven contests have now been decided by one goal. North Carolina outshot the Irish by a 26-8 margin, including a nine to one edge in shots on target. UNC also earned 10 corner kicks to Notre Dame’s two. Ashlyn Harris made one save in the Tar Heel net. “It’s been one of the most rewarding years I’ve had at Notre Dame, and that’s including the national championship of 2004,” said coach Randy Waldrum. “This team really has come so far. If you’d have asked anyone who saw us play Carolina in the first two weeks of the year, no one would have guessed we’d be back here. It’s taken a lot of hard work. This staff has done a great job of keeping the team focused and believing they could get back. A lot of the credit goes to the players for believing that we were good enough to get back. Even though it’s a disappointing night, it’s been a really rewarding year.” Courtney Barg was named a 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, one of 15 players to earn the distinction … Barg was also named a first team All-American by the NSCAA, while Lauren Fowlkes earned third team All-American honors for the Irish … the six saves for Weiss were one shy of tying her career high mark of seven … the Irish senior class finished their careers with a 91-11-4 record while making four College Cup appearances and two trips to the NCAA Championship match.

6. Three Notre Dame players finished with double-figure kills against Ohio in opening-round action of the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Tournament, but the Bobcats won the final two sets to outlast the Irish in a 3-2 (23-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 15-7) affair Friday at Michigan’s Cliff Keen Arena. Kellie Sciacca had 16 kills with Christina Kaelin adding 10 more. Kristen Dealy logged her ninth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 16 digs. Ohio (27-6), the Mid-American Conference Tournament champion, benefitted from 19 Ellen Herman kills as Sue Jacobi tacked on 18. Herman also had 26 kills during the two program’s last meeting in 2007, a 3-1 Ohio win. The Bobcats aced Notre Dame 10 times while hitting .236. Notre Dame swung at a .125 rate. “Although the outcome was not what we had hoped for, I’m extremely proud of our team and their effort tonight, and Ohio deserves plenty of credit for earning the win,” Irish head coach Debbie Brown said. “We’ve battled through injuries lately and persevered many times throughout the season. This team will miss our very special six-person senior class.” Jamel Nicholas had 40 assists and 10 digs with Frenchy Silva scooping 15 shots. Notre Dame finished the year with a 21-7 overall record after going 15-0 in BIG EAST regular-season play. The Irish secured the program’s 19th winning season, each of which have been under the direction of Brown, and earned an 11th BIG EAST regular season championship. The team’s 15-match winning streak earlier this season tied for the second-longest in program history.

7. In case you missed it, here’s what Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced late Friday relative to an Irish football bowl game: “After meetings again today involving our coaching staff as well as the leadership group representing our football team, we have made the decision to remove ourselves from consideration for any postseason bowl game this year. Notre Dame institutionally always has been a strong advocate of the bowl system, and we sincerely appreciate the bowls and individuals representing them who reached out to us. However, the unique circumstances surrounding our program at the current time prevent us from making the commitment required to compete in a bowl game. If the landscape had been different, we would have been thrilled to take part – and we certainly look forward to being part of the bowl system in the years to come.”

8. For the second night in a row, Notre Dame got outstanding goaltending from freshman Mike Johnson, but could muster little offensively as the Irish fell to No. 1 ranked Miami, 4-0, on Saturday at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Johnson stopped 32 of 36 shots in the game, keeping the score 1-0 until the third period when the RedHawks scored three times. Four different players scored for the RedHawks as Tommy Wingels and Pat Cannone scored on the power play and Carter Camper and Justin Vaive added even-strength goals. Defenseman Cameron Schilling added three assists for the home team. The two power-play goals were the first given up by Notre Dame since Nov. 14, and Wingels goal snapped a streak of 31 consecutive penalties killed. The second consecutive shutout by Miami (it won 1-0 Friday night on a shot-handed goal) extended the Irish scoring drought to 133:54 with the last Notre Dame goal coming at 11:06 of the third period of the Nov. 28 game versus Bowling Green when Ryan Thang scored on the power play. The loss drops the Irish to 7-7-4 overall and 4-4-4-2 in the CCHA while Miami improves to 11-2-5 on the year and 8-1-3-1 in conference action.

9. Notre Dame head baseball coach Dave Schrage announced Tuesday the signing of 10 student-athletes to national letters of intent. The class will be eligible beginning in the fall of 2010. The Irish signed RHP Donnie Hissa, INF Chris Reinhart, 1B Trey Mancini, INF/OF John Rodgers, RHP Sean Fitzgerald, RHP Dan Slania, LHP Anthony McGiver, C Forrest Johnson, INF/OF Bret Basilone and INF Eric Jagielo. “This is one of our best recruiting classes, if not the best,” said Schrage. “We’ve added speed, we’ve added power, we’ve added right-handed pitching, we’ve added left-handed pitching and we’ve added tremendous defense. I know that our class from a couple of years ago ranked among the top five in the country and this class is definitely right up there. This class was an especially important one with the number of seniors and potential draft-eligible players leaving the program. It is our goal every year to reload, not rebuild, and it is vital to bring in kids that can step in and contribute immediately as freshmen. This group can most definitely do that.” The 2010 recruiting class includes players from Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia and Illinois. No class in Irish history has come from such a widespread area. Notre Dame has 12 seniors on the 2010 roster. The Irish finished the 2009 season at 36-23 overall and 15-12 in the BIG EAST. Here are details on the 10 signees: Bret Basilone INF/OF | B/R | 5-11 | 170 | Springdale, Pennsylvania (Springdale HS) — 2009: all-section first team, all-Kiski Valley All-Star, invited to Area Code Games and East Coast Pro Showcase, member of National Honor Society, honor roll, Future Business Leaders of America Regional Competition – 2nd Place (State Qualifier), batted .400 with 18 stolen bases, 23 runs scored and 12 walks, has never been caught stealing in high school career. Sean Fitzgerald RHP | R/R | 6-2 | 170 | McLean, Virginia (McLean HS) — 2009: first team all-district, Liberty District Pitcher of the Year, first team all-region, honorable mention all-state, first team all-metropolitan, already owns school record for victories, member of National Honor Society, went 8-1 with a 1.46 ERA in 57.2 innings, struck out 69 and walked 10 in 10 appearances, including eight complete games (he started nine games), also hit .470 with 10 doubles, 23 RBI, 23 runs scored and eight stolen bases, owns a career marks of 18-7, 1.83 ERA, 158 strikeouts and only 36 walks in 160.1 innings. Donnie Hissa RHP | R/R | 6-7 | 235 | Iron River, Wisconsin (Maple Northwestern HS) — 2009: first team all-conference, Daily Telegram Player of the Year, named Maple Northwestern Most Valuable Player (baseball), pitched 58 innings and struck out 91 batters, led team with a .405 batting average, first team all-conference, Daily Telegram All-Area Team, named Maple Northwestern Most Valuable Player (basketball), first team all-state defensive lineman, first team all-conference tight end, first team all-conference defensive lineman, named Maple Northwestern Outstanding Lineman, Daily Telegram All-Area Team, Duluth News Tribune All-Area Team (football). Eric Jagielo INF | L/R | 6-1 | 190 | Downers Grove, Illinois (Downers Grove North HS) — 2009: ranked No. 314 overall and No. 8 in the state of Illinois by PGCrossChecker.com, member of the National Honor Society, all-conference, all-area, batted .417 with 37 runs scored, 16 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 30 RBI and an on-base percentage of .557. Forrest Johnson C | R/R | 6-2 | 195 | Hudson, Ohio (Hudson HS) — 2009: varsity letter in football, varsity letter in baseball, first team all-conference, Hudson H.S. Defensive Player of the Year, Northern Ohio Conference Scholar Athlete Award (baseball and football), Hudson H.S. Scholar Athlete Award (baseball and football), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, United States Military Academy, West Point Leadership Award. Trey Mancini 1B | R/R | 6-4 | 200 | Winter Haven, Florida (Winter Haven HS) — 2009: first team all-area, first team all-county, third team all-Florida 5A, second in hitting in Polk County. Anthony McIver LHP | L/L | 6-5 | 170 | Vista, California (Rancho Buena Vista HS) — 2009: San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team. Chris Reinhart INF | R/R | 6-1 | 195 | Tampa, Florida (Jesuit HS) — 2009: helped Jesuit High School to the Easter Tour Championship and regional semifinals, ranked as high as No. 40 overall and No. 4 third baseman by Prospectwire.com, National Latin Honor Society, National Honor Society, Jesuit Baseball Unit Award, Jesuit Principal’s Honor Roll. John Rodgers INF/OF | L/R | 5-11 | 170 | Palm City, Florida (John Carroll Catholic HS) — 2009: all-state honorable mention, member of National Honor Society, hit .400 with 26 runs scored, 26 walks and a .550 on-base percentage. Dan Slania RHP | R/R | 6-5 | 225 | Tucson, Arizona (Salpointe Catholic HS) — 2009: All-Southern Arizona Honorable Mention (baseball), coaches’ 5A Southern Region I All-Stars First Team (baseball), Dr. Voie Stuart Chase Coy Scholar Athlete Award (baseball), Salpointe Catholic H.S. Senior Class President, National Honor Society, honor roll, Catholic Schools Week Award, batted .344 with eight home runs and 25 RBI, posted a 4.94 ERA with 42 strikeouts (injury-hampered season), varsity letter in football and baseball.

10. The Irish track and field squads kicked off the indoor season on a high note Friday as Notre Dame set 48 BIG EAST qualifying marks at the Blue and Gold Meet held in the Loftus Sports Center.

11. This was not authorized by anyone connected with Notre Dame, but Accolo, an executive search firm run by Notre Dame graduate John Younger, posted the following job description anyway: “Notre Dame Head Football Coach – Your Opportunity to Join the Legends of Football — Job Label: NDCOACH-NATCHAMP — This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to add your name to the list of football legends including Rockne, Holtz, Leahy, and Parseghian. You have the experience to drive teams hard while applying the tact and sensitivity necessary to get the most out of a highly intelligent group of world class athletes. Fans love you, players respect you and competitors fear you. Your championship college and pro team victories define you, and now it’s time to make your lasting mark on the sport you love. 49 former Notre Dame players and coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. You are ready, willing and able to be number 50. Accolo is UNOFFICIALLY supporting the effort to fill this job in the spirit of teamwork. Fighting Irish alumni and friends value choice and opportunity, so this is your chance to be considered even if you are not currently known to the university or athletic department. Serious candidates will be forwarded to the Athletic Director. As the Head Coach, you will be in the most visible role in college sports, as Notre Dame is the only team, professional or college, to have all of its games broadcast nationally in the USA on the radio. You are naturally competitive and seek to be the best in any endeavor. Stress like this only invigorates you. Based on your experience as an NFL or college football coach, you know the details of this job well. Your proven ability to recruit top players, direct all aspects of training, select and manage the coaching staff, get the most out of the media, make the hard decisions on the field, oversee the budget and work as an integral member of the athletic department make you a star in any organization. Your enthusiasm and conviction are palpable, and your humility makes you unstoppable as you actively learn and adapt. Notre Dame offers competitive salary and benefits. In addition to completing this application, the selection process includes being reviewed and selected by the Athletic Director and other members of the interview team. To apply for this position or refer someone you know, please use our online interview system managed by Accolo. Apply for this job Once you have completed the interview, your information will be forwarded to the hiring authority for decisions on next steps.”

12. MacKenzie LeBlanc went 1:48.03 in the 200 butterfly to notch an NCAA B-cut Sunday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. His efforts helped the Notre Dame swimming and diving team earn a fourth-place finish among the 12-team field at the Ohio State Invite. Ohio State (1,424) won the event with Minnesota (834) and West Virginia (447) taking second and third, respectively. The Irish earned 422 points for fourth. Notre Dame’s next dual meet will be Jan. 9 against Northwestern, the first of four home meets the Irish will take part in before the BIG EAST Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Irish will spend several days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after Christmas for the program’s annual winter training trip.

December 3, 2009

1. Notre Dame junior wide receiver Golden Tate has been named to the 2009 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team announced Thursday by the American Football Coaches Association. Tate becomes the 49th Notre Dame player and the 56th selection to the AFCA All-America Team. Only Oklahoma has had more players named (52) and more players represented (60 selections) on the AFCA All-America Team. Tate is the first Notre Dame player tabbed for this team since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002 and the first offensive player selected since offensive tackle Aaron Taylor in 1993. The 5-11, 195-pounder from Hendersonville, Tenn., rewrote the Irish receiving record book in 2009 as he tied or broke six school records. Tate set single-season records with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and tied the school record with 15 receiving touchdowns. He broke the career receiving yards record with 2,707 yards and set the school record for most 100-yard receiving games in a season (nine) and in a career (15). A finalist this year for the Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to college football’s top wide receiver, Tate ranked in the top eight nationally in nine receiving categories. He tied for first in total touchdowns (18), scoring (108) and scoring per game (9.0 points), ranked second in receiving touchdowns and was fourth in total receiving yards and receiving yards per game (124.67). Tate ranked sixth in total receptions, seventh receptions per game (7.75) and eighth in yards per catch (16.09). Tate added 186 rushing yards on 25 carries with two rushing TDs and also scored on an 87-yard punt return at Pittsburgh. He scored at least one TD in each of the final 11 games and no player had more 100-yard receiving games this year than Tate.

2. There were six national coach of the year awards in college baseball for 2009 – and all were won by former Notre Dame coaches: four by LSU’s Paul Mainieri and the other two by former Irish assistant Brian O’Connor, now at Virginia.

3. Former Notre Dame assistant football coach Foge Fazio died Wednesday in Pittsburgh at age 71 after battling leukemia. He spent four years as head coach at Pitt from 1982-85 – then became Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator in Lou Holtz’s first two seasons in South Bend in 1986 and ’87. He was an analyst on Pitt’s football radio broadcasts the last two seasons. Fazio will be buried Monday in Moon Township, Pa., outside of Pittsburgh.

4. Five members of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team have garnered preseason All-America honors from Inside Lacrosse. Scott Rodgers (Sr., G) was named to the first team, while Grant Krebs (Sr., M) and Sam Barnes (Sr., D) were second-team selections. Trever Sipperly (Sr., M/FO) and Andrew Irving (Jr., LSM) were honorable mention picks. The Fighting Irish were tabbed to finish second in the BIG EAST according to a vote by the league’s seven head coaches. The 2010 campaign will mark the first season for BIG EAST men’s lacrosse. Syracuse was picked to win the conference. Barnes and Rodgers both were named to the coaches’ 13-man all-BIG EAST preseason squad. The All-America and all-conference teams appear in the 2010 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook.

5. Here’s an assessment of Irish receiver Golden Tate, who has yet to announce whether he’ll return for his final season of eligibility at Notre Dame, from nfldraftbible.com: “Tate has the quickness, hands, and determination to be one of the best wide receivers to enter the draft over the past five years. The 5’11” wide out runs several different routes and has an explosive burst, which allows him to reach top speed very early in his pattern and blow by his defender. Tate runs precise timing routes, and is particularly dangerous when he stops on a dime and comes back to the ball, which always seems to throw his cover man off balance. He’s equally as effective on slant plays where he lines up in the slot and fearlessly runs through traffic. The rising star is the type of player coaches will want to isolate in man-to-man coverage on out patterns, where his ability to slip past the first man should lead to big plays. On deep throws, Tate exhibits great focus on over-the-shoulder catches and adjusts his body to the pass at full speed. He’ll often come up with ball when surrounded by multiple defensive backs due to the fact that he catches the ball in his hands and at its highest point. Remarkably, the junior will typically maintain a tight grip on the pigskin on plays where he’s forced to go airborne. In zone coverage, Tate masterfully finds holes in the secondary and immediately communicates with his quarterback to let him know that he’s open. While it’s hard to overthrow the electrifying playmaker, he will sometimes drop balls that hit him right in his hands. He’s also a bit too reckless at times with the way he throws his body around subjecting himself to serious injury. NFL fans will love his work ethic and physical style of play.”

6. By virtually any measurement, the University of Notre Dame wins the 2009 national championship for graduating its student-athletes. Whether measured by the federal government in its Department of Education report or by the NCAA through its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) numbers, graduation rates for Notre Dame student-athletes rank either number one or among the handful of national leaders in all major categories among all major football-playing colleges and universities. Notre Dame’s institutional research found that Irish student-athletes ranked number one in eight of 10 major categories – ranking second in one and third in another. Those are far and away the best results for Notre Dame in the five years the NCAA has published both the GSR and federal numbers. The eight number-one rankings are four more than ever achieved in any other year (the four top rankings came in 2008). Notre Dame led the nation in the GSR ratings for all student-athletes (at 99), while also ranking first in both the GSR and federal standings for male student-athletes (98 GSR, 88 federal), female student-athletes (100 GSR, 94 federal) and black student-athletes (97 GSR, 85 federal) — as well as first in the GSR listing for football student-athletes (96). The NCAA also calculated graduation rates over a 10-year period (student-athletes who entered from 1993-94 through 2002-2003). During those 10 years, Notre Dame had 635 student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility – and 100 percent of them graduated within the allotted six-year period. By comparison, Northwestern had a 100 percent rate, Vanderbilt, Duke and Boston College recorded 99 percent, and Rice had a 98 percent rate.

7. Andrean (Ind.) High School will honor one of its own on Saturday night (Dec. 5) as two-time Notre Dame All-American Luke Harangody (Schererville, Ind.) will be honored by the school in an evening that has been designated as “Luke Harangody Night.” Harangody’s No. 40 jersey, the number he wore during his four-year scholastic career, will be recognized at that time in a pre-game ceremony prior to Andrean’s contest with Gary Lew Wallace. Harangody’s jersey will be the first-ever to be honored by the school in this special ceremony. On Dec. 1, he became the first player in program history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds at Notre Dame. Harangody enjoyed an illustrious four-year career at Andrean as his teams compiled a 67-29 record, won two Athletic Conference championships (2005 and 2006) and three sectional crowns. A two-time all-state and all-conference honoree, he concluded his career at the school with 1,527 career points (18.8 scoring average) and 850 rebounds (10.5 rebounding average) while playing in 81 contests.

8. The Irish track and field squads will open the 2009-10 indoor season Friday with the Blue and Gold Meet at the Loftus Center. Notre Dame will play host to teams from DePaul, Detroit Mercy and Marquette at the one-day meet. The high jump and pole vault kick off the field events at 5:00 p.m. (EST), while the 60-meter hurdles begins the running events at 6:00 p.m. The Irish return All-Americans Jaclyn Espinoza (throws) and Joanna Schultz (sprints), as well as three-time BIG EAST pole vault champion Matt Schipper and NCAA decathlon competitor Justin Schneider. The Notre Dame men won the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships last season and were runners-up at the indoor meet, while the Irish women finished fourth at the indoor meet and fifth at the outdoor competition. After sending four athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the women’s squad finished 24th with 11.5 points. The men sent three representatives and finished 48th.

9. Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong (he was Notre Dame’s defensive line coach from 1995-98) has emerged as the leading candidate for the Louisville head football coaching job, multiple sources have told ESPN.com.

10. East Carolina assistant football coach Thomas “Rock” Roggeman was the weekly nominee Nov. 18 for the 2009 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Roggeman, the Pirates’ defensive tackles coach, has taken a medical leave of absence while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Roggeman, 46, in his fifth season as an ECU assistant, was diagnosed with the cancer of the lymphatic system last summer. He continued coaching while undergoing treatments, but left the team in late September in order to undertake a more aggressive treatment plan. Roggeman, who played linebacker and nose guard at Notre Dame (1983-84), has dropped in on several Pirates’ practices between treatments, providing a lift to players and coaches. For the fourth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy. The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine’s senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also a FWAA member. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.

December 2, 2009

1. The Notre Dame-Stanford football game earned a 4.47 rating on ABC.

2. The 15th-ranked Notre Dame hockey team travels to Oxford, Ohio, this weekend to face the #1-ranked Miami RedHawks in a pair of big CCHA contests on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 4-5, at Steve Cady Arena. The Ohio News Network (ONN) will televise both games of the series — with the broadcasts picked up by Comcast Television in Michigan. They will be carried locally in South Bend on Comcast Cable channel three. Friday night’s game begins at 7:35 p.m. with Saturday’s face off set for 7:05 p.m. This is the first of four games that Comcast Cable in South Bend will carry on the local access channel three. The Dec. 11 game at Michigan and the Dec. 13 game at home against Michigan also are scheduled to be carried by Comcast. The Dec. 11 game from Ann Arbor is a 7:35 p.m. game, while the Sunday, Dec. 13 game from the Joyce Center is a 4:05 p.m. contest. Notre Dame goes into this weekend versus Miami with a 7-5-4 overall record and a 4-2-4-2 mark in the CCHA, good for 18 points. Miami is 9-2-5 overall and 6-1-3-1 for 22 points in conference play. The RedHawks are in first place in the CCHA, two points ahead of second-place Michigan State and four ahead of the fourth-place Irish.

3. The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on. Last year’s final Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote, including the winner. Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News. Chris Huston of HeismanPundit.com coordinates and also votes in the poll. The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, 12/1/09 Total Points, with first-place votes in parantheses: 1. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas-58 (7); 2. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford-47 (3); 3. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama-28 (1); 4. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida-24; 5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State-13 (1); 6. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame-10 (1); 7. Case Keenum, QB, Houston-7; 8. C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson-5; 9. Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas-2; 10. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon-1, Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska-1, Jacqizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State-1.

4. The puck came flying high into the air. It appeared no one could find the high-flying rebound, until rookie Victor Oreskovich knocked the puck out of the air and drove to the net to score the game-tying goal for the Florida Panthers in the final minutes of a Nov. 16 game against the Los Angeles Kings. It wasn’t just a goal for Oreskovich, however. And it was more than just the first NHL goal for the 6-foot-2, 225-pound fullback on skates. The drive, the determination, the passion he showed in getting to the net, that was the key for a player who not too long ago quit hockey after being a second-round draft choice, the 55th selection, by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2004 Entry Draft. After scoring 28 goals and 32 assists in 62 games for Kitchener in the Ontario Hockey League in 2006-07, Oreskovich was out of sight like that rebound. And out of mind, retiring from the game citing a case of burnout. Last fall, Oreskovich was back at the University of Notre Dame earning his degree in finance — not even thinking of being a feel-good hockey story for the Florida Panthers. Oreskovich is no sure thing for the Panthers. After all, he’s gone from the Milton Merchants of the Tier 2 Ontario Provincial League to the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League to Notre Dame, then Kitchener, then Florida. But this finance major on skates is a terrific story nonetheless.

5. Carleton Scott leapt high and got his left hand on an alley-oop pass from Luke Harangody and deflected it in, igniting an 18-2 run that let Notre Dame break the game open in beating Idaho State 80-70 Tuesday night. Harangody led the Irish (7-1) with 27 points and 12 rebounds to become the first Notre Dame player with 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. Ben Hansbrough added 14 points. Idaho State (2-5), which trailed 40-37 at halftime, closed to 47-42 when Broderick Gilchrest drove inside for a basket and then made a free throw. But Scott scored his alley-oop basket, then Harangody made one of his two three-pointers as the Irish began pulling away, opening a 65-44 lead when Tim Abromaitis made a fastbreak jumper.

6. USA Hockey today named 29 players to its preliminary roster for the 2010 U.S. Junior National Team that will participate in a three-day pre-tournament training camp Dec. 17-19 in Grand Forks, N.D. Among those selected to the roster is Notre Dame freshman right wing Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.), who will compete for a spot on the team that will compete for the 2010 World Junior Championships that will be held in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan from Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 5, 2010. The training camp will be highlighted with an exhibition game against the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team on Dec. 19. Following the camp, a reduced roster will play the Czech Republic on Dec. 22 in Regina, Sask., for Team USA’s final exhibition game. Palmieri, a 2009 first round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks, has played in 16 games for Notre Dame and is currently second on the team with five goals and has added a pair of assists for seven points. He has picked up eight penalties for 16 minutes and his 42 shots on goal tie him for second on the team in that category.

7. Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate heads to Orlando next week for the College Football Awards Show that airs live Thursday night from Disney World on ESPN. Tate is one of three wide receivers who are finalists for the Biletnikoff Award – and he’s also got a shot at being named to the Walter Camp All-America squad that’s announced that same night.

8. Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2009 Manning Award. The award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances. Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif.) has completed 68.0 percent of his passes this year for 3,722 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions. He ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (161.42), second in average passes between interceptions (106.3), third in touchdown to interception ratio (7.0), third in passing yards per game (310.17), third in total passing yards (3,722), tied for third in fewest interceptions (four), sixth in completion percentage (68.0), tied for sixth in touchdown passes (28) and seventh in passing yards per attempt (8.76).

9. Notre Dame athletic administrators head to New York Monday for the College Football Hall of Fame festivities. The University will play host to a dinner for Tim Brown on Monday night, then all the Hall of Famers are inducted at the NFF’s annual dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria on Tuesday.

10. Due to the Irish football coaching change, the annual Notre Dame Football Banquet on Friday will be an in-house event – with only players, coaches and football staffers and families invited. Charlie Weis is expected to attend.

11. Notre Dame’s unbeaten women’s basketball team defeated Eastern Michigan 69-59 tonight at Purcell Pavilion. Lindsay Schrader had 15 points and seven rebounds. Skylar Diggins had 15 points, and Natalie Novosel had eight rebounds and five assists.

12. With Notre Dame’s assistant football coaches on the road recruiting, don’t expect a decision on a potential football bowl game for Notre Dame until late in the week when those coaches return to campus.

13. Today was just a typical one in the midst of a Notre Dame football coaching search, though not in terms of any official news:
— First, Irish Sports Daily quoted an anonymous source as alleging Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops signed a contract with Notre Dame today (the site later crashed).
— Then, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer web site quoted IrishCentral.com saying Brian Kelly would be the next Notre Dame head coach.
— Finally, if you logged on to Monster.com, you could fill out an on-line application to be the next Irish coach. That site was removed by the end of the day.

14. If you are one of those individuals who believes Notre Dame football has become irrelevant, you might change your mind if you check out the college football section on espn.com. Click on any Notre Dame story and you’ll be led to a menu of no fewer than 24 different items related to the Notre Dame coaching change. In addition to the basic news story, there are six other items under “The Weis Era,” three under ESPN Chicago, seven under “What’s Next at Notre Dame” and finally seven pieces under Video Analysis (including interviews with Lou Holtz, Tim Brown, Bob Davie and Craig James).